One SNIP at a time, St. Joseph clinic has altered 6,000 pets

By Sheryl Edelen
The Courier-Journal


Just shy of its first anniversary, The Kentucky Humane Society's Operation Spay and Neuter Incentive Program is celebrating its first major milestone -- completion of its 6,000th surgery.

Operation SNIP, at 2445 Crittenden Drive in the St. Joseph area, provides low-cost surgeries and vaccinations for pets of needy people and coordinates pet transportation to and from the clinic for such owners in nearby counties.

The Jefferson counties involved are Scott, Trimble, Henry, Spencer, Grayson, Bullitt and Carroll counties. In Indiana, the clinic serves Dearborn and Floyd counties.

The clinic also is developing a pickup and delivery service for eligible pet owners in seven ZIP codes in the county -- 40202, 40203, 40208, 40210, 40211, 40212 and 40215 -- where 2000 Census statistics showed a significant number of people and families living at or below poverty level.

It also coordinates transportation of pets with various animal-rescue groups within a 90-mile radius.

Spaying or neutering costs $35 to $55; some financial assistance is available. Applicants' need is evaluated on a case-by-case basis.

The Crittenden Drive effort is an outgrowth of a weekly clinic that the society offered at its Eastpoint location, at 13310 Magisterial Drive. That effort completed 1,100 surgeries. The Crittenden Drive site is considered more central.

Humane Society officials hope their efforts will decrease the number of animal euthanizations in Jefferson County. They also believe the procedures will lead to longer and healthier lives for the animals, with fewer risks for contracting certain diseases and cancer.

The society also altered more than 5,400 adoptable pets last year.

"We want to put an end to euthanizing adoptable pets in our area, so they each can find a permanent home," said Lori Kane Redmon, the society's president. "A high-volume spay/neuter program is the only way to accomplish that and prevent animals from suffering in the future."

Officials said word of mouth and billboard and radio advertisements helped the operation attract clients.

Reporter Sheryl Edelen can be reached at (502) 582-4621.